United States women’s national team captain Becky Sauerbrunn will not be joining her teammates at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The 38-year-old defender suffered a foot injury back in April and will not recover in time. It will be the team’s first World Cup without Sauerbrunn since 2007.

“Heartbroken isn’t even the half of it,” Sauerbrunn wrote on her official Twitter page.

“I had hoped and worked and hoped some more to make it back in time to help lead the team at this World Cup, but after lots of discussion, unfortunately, there’s just too much variability in my return to play timeline. So, I’ll be home, working as hard as I can to get back on the field as quickly as I can.”

“It’s been an honor to work and play alongside this incredible group of athletes,” continued Sauerbrunn.

“They have my unwavering support. And, more importantly, they have my unyielding belief. This program has always been about the collective and I have no doubt that the twenty-three players on the final roster have everything they need – in their feet, their heads and their hearts – to bring our fifth trophy home.”

Defender has ninth-most caps in USWNT history

Sauerbrunn has been a mainstay in the USWNT back line for over a decade. In fact, the defender helped the Americans triumph at the 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cups. She has collected an astounding 216 total caps for her country.

Australia and New Zealand are set to host the upcoming 2023 Women’s World Cup. The tournament will begin in July, with the USWNT opening their tournament against Vietnam on July 22nd. The Americans retained their number one spot in the recently updated FIFA rankings and are considered favorites to bring the trophy back to North America.

Full Women’s World Cup roster expected soon

USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski is expected to release his team’s full World Cup roster next week.

The Yanks will play a friendly match against Wales before departing for the World Cup. Wales will travel to San Jose to face the USWNT on July 9th at PayPal Park, the home of MLS‘ San Jose Earthquakes.

Photo credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire